Top 10 Stumbling Blocks that Limit Business Growth
Never in history have more entrepreneurs launched more new businesses! In America, thousands of business open their doors every single day! Unfortunately, most of them (over 90% of them) also close their doors within two years. Businesses are started with high hopes and glorious dreams. It is easy to start a business. It is much more difficult to build it, to make it succeed, to avoid the traps and pitfalls and frustrations, and enjoy the fruits of success over the years. In working with hundreds (probably two to three THOUSAND) entrepreneurs over 25 years, here are the mistakes I see most often. Avoid them!
1. Fear and Confusion. There is either a sense of being over-whelmed by the size of the tasks, or a refusal to master the work of being an entrepreneur and business owner. There are specific skills to owning and running a successful business. Learn them! You can master this! You can focus and succeed! (This is often the time to hire a coach!)
2. Lack of Capital. Capital comes in three forms: Time, money, and energy. Some people have one or two, but not all three, and they fail because they simply can not sustain the growth phase of their business. EVERY business is a commitment of everything you have. You may start "small", but that does not mean casual or part-time!
3. Lack of Courage or Commitment. Building a business is always risky. Some people perceive the risk as frightening, others see it as an exciting challenge, but there is always risk. Manage it. Limit your potential losses. Understand the risks and enjoy the process. You will make mistakes. Learn from them and go on.
4. Refusal to select and target an audience. No one can sell their services to "everyone" - a message that goes to everyone is unlikely to create a sense of urgency in anyone in particular. Attorneys focus on one type of law. Physicians specialize. So should you.
5. Choosing the wrong audience. A market that can not or will not pay or an audience that is too small or dispersed is a recipe for disaster. The "poor" desperately need medical, dental, legal and other services, but who is going to pay you? The same problem exists when trying to reach an audience that is dispersed over a large geographic area and not easily identified.
6. Fuzzy or unfocused message. What exact benefits do you provide? To whom? Under what circumstances and at what cost? How can people contact you? Be precise, be clear, be specific.
7. Lack of planning - too many random efforts. Many entrepreneurs try a little radio, a direct mailing, join a service organization, offer free samples, and then report that they have "tried everything and nothing worked". Pick one, and stay the course! You become identified with your marketing techniques. Choose a logo, a color-scheme, and a marketing technique and stay with it!
8. Too much advertising, too little relationship building. Advertising works best for tangible products because customers can see the results. Intangible services are very difficult to advertise and are almost always purchased based on the quality of the relationship. The more people know you, and the more they know about you and your caring, your professionalism and your quality, the more business you will do. Build networks of relationships!
9. Laziness and/or Greed. Your business ONLY exists to serve the customer! You must make a profit in order to continue serving the customer, but service is the key to success. Everything must be focused on that. The statement, "I want to be my own boss", or "I want a business that supports me" may be true (and be totally honest and reasonable), but they are a dangerous focus for your business. Customers first!
10. Having a product or service that fails to produce adequate benefits, or fails to serve as promised. Some professionals are incompetent. Some don't use current technology, or are sloppy in their delivery. Particularly with services, even ONE mistake will undermine client confidence, loyalty, and trust. Do your best - every time!
French president tells Boris Johnson he must present concrete proposals for UK exit
Emmanuel Macron has described the Irish backstop as ‚Äúindispensable‚ÄĚ to a Brexit deal and urged Boris Johnson to set out his proposed alternatives as soon as possible, as he met the British prime minister in Paris.
The French president told Johnson on Thursday that the EU would like ‚Äúvisibility‚ÄĚ on London‚Äôs concrete proposals for the UK‚Äôs withdrawal from the EU within a month, echoing language used by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, on Wednesday.
Political storm over rainforest devastation as Ricardo Salles attends summit
The environment minister of Brazil, where wildfires have been sweeping the Amazon rainforest, was booed at a climate event on Wednesday as celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio and Ariana Grande joined an international chorus of criticism.
Videos of Ricardo Salles being booed by demonstrators as he took to the stage at Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week in the north-eastern city of Salvador circulated widely in Brazil. An opposition senator is planning to seek his impeachment at Brazil‚Äôs supreme court.
Allegation directed at employee of consulate in Hong Kong is often used by Bejing authorities to smear critics
Chinese state media has accused a worker at the British consulate in Hong Kong who is detained in mainland China of visiting prostitutes ‚Äď an accusation often used by the authorities to smear the reputation of government critics.
Simon Cheng, 28, a trade and investment officer for Scottish Development International, travelled to Shenzhen, a city that borders Hong Kong, on 8 August. He sent messages to his girlfriend as he was about to cross back over the border at about 10pm and has not been heard from since.
The fiance of Aras Amiri, a British Council employee imprisoned in Iran on spying charges, has accused the UK government of being ‚Äúutterly blind to their responsibility‚ÄĚ to try to secure her release.
Financier created fund in new will two days before suicide
Experts say prying open fund will be difficult for accusers
The will that disgraced financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein signed just two days before his jailhouse suicide puts more than $577m in assets into a trust fund that could make it more difficult for his dozens of accusers to collect damages.
Estate lawyers and other experts say prying open the trust and dividing up the financier‚Äôs riches is not going to be easy and could take years.
‚ÄėIt would not have happened to a white kid,‚Äô Angela Washington said after staff used a marker pen on Juelz Trice‚Äôs banned haircut
Juelz Trice came home from school earlier this year with permanent marker ink scribbled on his scalp, but it was not a prank played by one of his fellow seventh-graders. It was a punishment enacted by some of the staff.
The boy‚Äôs parents filed a federal civil rights lawsuit this week and have told the Guardian they believe the act, a hapless attempt to hide a ‚Äúfade‚ÄĚ haircut with a design that violated the school district‚Äôs dress code, was rooted in racism and left him humiliated.
Richard Braine accused of stoking tensions after also saying there are no ‚Äėmoderate Muslims‚Äô
Richard Braine, the new Ukip leader, has been accused of whipping up religious tensions and anti-Muslim prejudice after leaked emails showed he argued that people should no more want Muslims to settle in their country than Nazis.
Braine, who won the leadership after a campaign in which he expressed anti-Islam views, also suggested that non-Muslims needed to help Muslims to ‚Äúcast out their demon‚ÄĚ and argued there was no such thing as ‚Äúmoderate Muslims‚ÄĚ.
Democratic presidential hopeful‚Äôs 10-year plan warns of devastating economic consequences if crisis is not addressed
Bernie Sanders has laid out an ambitious 10-year, $16.3tn national mobilization to avert climate catastrophe, warning that the US risks losing $34.5tn in economic productivity by the end of the century if it does not respond with the urgency the threat demands.
The Vermont senator has long spoken of the climate crisis as a existential danger to the US and the world, and he has previously endorsed a Green New Deal, which he put forward with the New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Exclusive: accidental release of intelligence officer‚Äôs name in Annastacia Palaszczuk‚Äôs diaries blamed on ‚Äėadministrative error‚Äô
The Queensland premier‚Äôs office has mistakenly published the name of a secret intelligence operative in an extraordinary national security breach potentially punishable by up to 10 years‚Äô imprisonment.
The name of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (Asio) officer was accidentally published during the routine public release of Annastacia Palaszczuk‚Äôs diaries, a practice designed to boost government transparency.
From power cuts to infrastructure failure, the impact of climate change on US cities will be huge ‚Äď but many are already innovating to adapt
Between record heat and rain, this summer‚Äôs weather patterns have indicated, once again, that the climate is changing.
US cities, where more than 80% of the nation‚Äôs population lives, are disproportionately hit by these changes, not only because of their huge populations but because of their existing ‚Äď often inadequate ‚Äď infrastructure.
In the Netherlands, where there are more bikes than people, serious money is being spent encouraging even more people to get on their bikes
In a nation with more bikes than people, finding a space to park can be a problem. The Dutch city of Utrecht is unveiling an answer at its railway station on Monday morning: the world‚Äôs largest multistorey parking area for bicycles.
The concrete-and-glass structure holds three floors of gleaming double-decker racks with space for 12,500 bikes, from cargo bikes that hold a family to public transport bikes for rent.
To protect itself from destructive flooding, the city has built a park designed to store and recycle rainwater
In Alicante it never rains but it pours. The city in southeast Spain goes without rain for months on end, but when it comes it‚Äôs torrential, bringing destructive and sometimes fatal flooding.
Or at least, it used to. In San Juan, a low-lying area of the city, authorities have built a new park with a twist. Called La Marjal, it serves as a typical recreation area and a nature reserve ‚Äď but its primary purpose is to store, and then recycle, rainwater.
As a swipe at Scooter Braun, the singer will recreate her first six albums from scratch. But her plan ignores one of music‚Äôs vital truths
Let‚Äôs assume it can be done, even though we don‚Äôt know. Let‚Äôs take Taylor Swift‚Äôs word for it when she says she is going to rerecord the six albums she recorded for the Big Machine label before signing to Republic/Universal last autumn. Let‚Äôs presume her contract with Big Machine did not contain clauses preventing soundalike re-recordings, or prevent her from taking new runs at old tracks until a certain time period had elapsed.
The news came in a preview for her interview on Good Morning America, scheduled to air this Sunday, in which Tracy Smith asked if she was planning to make new versions of all her masters. ‚ÄúOh yeah,‚ÄĚ Swift replied. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs a plan?‚ÄĚ Smith asked. ‚ÄúYeah, absolutely.‚ÄĚ She has said that recording will commence in November 2020. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm going to be busy,‚ÄĚ she told Smith.
Exclusive: Director general heading up sections at centre of Windrush scandal to step down next March
The head of two of the Home Office sections at the centre of the Windrush scandal has told staff he will be stepping down next year.
Mark Thomson, the director general of HM Passport Office (HMPO) and UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), will be replaced in March and then take on a number of advisory roles and non-executive directorships.
It seems the Boris Johnson ‚Äėfoot on the table‚Äô picture was not all that it seems. According to Sky‚Äôs Tom Rayner, Johnson was responding to a jokey suggestion from Emmanuel Macron that the table would work well as a footstool. Johnson put his foot on the table only very fleetingly.
WATCH: Here‚Äôs the Reuters video of Boris Johnson putting his foot on the Elysee furniture. It seems President Macron was making small talk suggesting the table would work equally well as a footstool should the PM want to recline, which Johnson then jokingly does pic.twitter.com/dnv37t9mS4
Excellent photograph. What a Rembrandtesque composition: Macron out-alphaed, the scrum in the mirror and the ballerino-like flunky https://t.co/yYLDlZugrg
Demonstrators say they will persist until military-backed government is replaced by civilian democracy
Six months after a wave of protests began in Algeria, people are still demonstrating and the military-backed government appears determined to keep its grip on power.
The demonstrations have gained a familiar rhythm since tens of thousands of Algerians first took to the streets on 22 February. Thousands of students turn out on Tuesdays and there are larger protests each Friday.
Lincoln Chafee, the Republican US Senator turned Independent Rhode Island governor turned Democratic presidential candidate and a longtime proponent of the metric system, might try his luck running for president as a Libertarian in 2020.
In an interview with the Daily Beast, Chafee said he was interested in running for president on a third-party ticket.
Trump‚Äôs vision of a great Greenland Purchase was perhaps doomed from the start but that hasn‚Äôt stopped Republicans from embracing the idea.
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the campaign arm of House Republicans is offering donors who contribute more than $25 a limited edition t-shirt that depicts Greenland as a 51st US state.
The @NRCC is fundraising with a t-shirt of a US map that includes Greenland: "Support President Trump and his efforts to help America grow!" pic.twitter.com/v1k0hjB5e5
We members of the G7‚Äôs Gender Equality Advisory Council are urging countries to ditch archaic and discriminatory laws and promote empowerment
The sheer tenacity of women raising their voices and organising for fundamental change has been, and will continue to be, the driving force for achieving women‚Äôs rights and a gender-equal world. Yet we cannot ignore the fundamental role that governments can play in either promoting or thwarting change.
That is why the four of us accepted French president Emmanuel Macron‚Äôs invitation to join 32 colleagues to form a G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council. On Sunday, we will present the culmination of our work; a package of recommended laws focused on ending gender-based violence; ensuring inclusive, equitable, and quality health and education; promoting the economic empowerment of women; and combating discrimination, ensuring full gender equality in policies and public life. In each area we point to laws from around the world that illustrate the type of action countries should take.
Nigeria marks three years without a wild polio case, meaning Africa could be declared free of the disease in 2020
Africa is on the verge of being declared polio free, after three years without any recorded cases of the disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Nigeria marked three years without a wild polio case onWednesday, a ‚Äúmajor milestone‚ÄĚ. If no more incidences emerge in the next few months, Africa could officially be declared polio free in 2020. The last case was recorded in Borno state in August 2016.
Corruption watchdog accused of promoting ‚Äėtoxic‚Äô workplace culture that silenced critical voices
Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International has been accused of promoting a ‚Äútoxic‚ÄĚ internal environment of bullying and harassment, making it the latest high-profile charity to come under fire over its workplace culture.
Seven current and former staff members said the organisation had ‚Äúfailed in its duty of care‚ÄĚ to staff. They accused managing director Patricia Moreira of promoting a culture that enabled ‚Äúbullying‚ÄĚ, silenced critical voices, and used ‚Äúgagging orders‚ÄĚ ‚Äď confidentiality clauses in termination agreements. Leaked internal emails and documents including a staff survey corroborate their accounts.
Bombing believed to be linked to Timothy Mtambo‚Äôs role at forefront of mass protests over alleged rigging of elections
The home of a leading human rights activist in Malawi has been petrol bombed in what is believed to be a targeted move to stop mass demonstrations planned for next week.
Three bombs were thrown at the car and home of Timothy Mtambo, the chairman of Malawi‚Äôs Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), and the executive director of the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRC).
Climate emergency and population growth blamed for deteriorating water quality, with ‚Äėcocktail of chemicals‚Äô changing as countries become richer
The planet is facing a mounting and ‚Äúinvisible‚ÄĚ water pollution crisis, according to a hard-hitting World Bank report, which claims the issue is responsible for a one-third reduction in potential economic growth in the most heavily affected areas.
The study, which assembled the world‚Äôs largest database of water pollution, assesses how a combination of bacteria, sewage, chemicals and plastics suck oxygen from water supplies and transform water into poison for people and ecosystems.
President outdoes himself in new press conference as he attacks the Danish prime minister, Jewish Democrats and the press
Donald Trump started off precisely on-message.
Strolling to the end of a White House driveway on Wednesday ahead of his departure for a veterans event in Kentucky, the president began speaking while still walking toward a crowd of waiting reporters. ‚ÄúSo the economy is doing very, very well,‚ÄĚ he said.
Family of New York man insists ‚Äėwe‚Äôre not finished‚Äô after dismissal of Daniel Pantaleo, who put Garner in a banned chokehold
One thousand, eight hundred and sixty days after Eric Garner was killed on the streets of Staten Island, New York, his family finally received a sliver of justice.
On Monday, the New York police department (NYPD) commissioner, James O‚ÄôNeill, announced the NYPD would fire Daniel Pantaleo, who, on that hot summer‚Äôs day in July 2014, placed the unarmed 43-year-old in a banned chokehold that contributed to Garner‚Äôs death.
By cancelling his state visit to Denmark, the US president has again showed his thin skin
Donald Trump‚Äôs abrupt decision to cancel his state visit to Denmark after it rejected his unsolicited offer to buy Greenland at a knockdown price took most people by surprise, not least his own ambassador.
‚ÄúDenmark is ready ‚Ä¶ Partner, ally, friend‚ÄĚ, tweeted Carla Sands, the neophyte US envoy to Copenhagen who was previously an actor and chiropractor. Hours later, it was off.
President could call snap election, seek new coalition or install caretaker government
‚ÄúThis government ends here,‚ÄĚ said Giuseppe Conte, as he announced his resignation as Italy‚Äôs prime minister on Tuesday. After almost two weeks of twists and turns, what happens next is far from clear.
The president, Sergio Mattarella, is now calling the shots in a crisis triggered when Matteo Salvini pulled the plug on the League‚Äôs tenuous relationship with the Five Star Movement (M5S) in an attempt to capitalise on his popularity and become PM.
Jeering activists interrupted a speech by Ricardo Salles on Wednesday at the Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week conference in Salvador, Brazil. Booing protesters virtually drowned out Salles‚Äô speech during which one activist held a placard reading: ‚ÄėDon‚Äôt you get tired of your own lies?‚Äô The minister and the government of the far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, have come under fire for their policies, which activists say are harming the environment
The US president said his life would be easier if he had not mounted a trade war with China but went on to say ‚ÄėI am the chosen one‚Äô to take on Beijing. Donald Trump said the US would probably make a deal with China
Large demonstrations and violent protests have taken place across the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua. On Wednesday, Jakarta said it was sending a further 1,000 security personnel to tackle the unrest, sparked by the arrest of Papuan students in the Indonesian city of Surabaya. Indonesia‚Äôs communications ministry cut the internet to its most eastern province on Wednesday ‚Äėuntil the atmosphere of Papua returns to being conducive and normal‚Äô. Jakarta has battled an independence insurgency in the region since it was incorporated into Indonesia in 1969 after a widely discredited UN-sponsored ballot
The US president has renewed his attack on four Democratic congresswomen who have been critical of Israel, and reiterated a longstanding antisemitic trope implying that American Jews had divided loyalty to America and to Israel. Over almost 24 hours he has repeatedly described Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats as showing 'either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty'
The US president has said his administration is looking at ending the right of citizenship for US-born children of non-citizens and people who entered the country illegally. 'We're looking at that very seriously, birthright citizenship, where you have a baby on our land, you walk over the border, have a baby ‚Äď congratulations, the baby is now a US citizen ... It's frankly ridiculous,' Donald Trump told reporters
The Brazilian president has said NGOs could be burning down the Amazon rainforest to embarrass his government after he cut their funding. Bolsonaro had no evidence but said 'everything indicates' that NGOs are going to the Amazon to set fire to the forest
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